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UCU letter to VC – Improving Staff Community

Dear Professor Nutbeam

We at Southampton UCU would like to express our thanks for your commitment to improving the mental health and wellbeing of staff at the University via the creation of the wellbeing taskforce.  We believe that there are many productive steps that we could take as an institution toward creating a better working environment here at Southampton, and we look forward to making further progress on this with you in future.

In relation to these efforts, Southampton UCU recently conducted a survey of our members to better gauge their opinions about working at the University.  We found that a full 69% of our members believe that the University provides insufficient support for collegiality and staff cohesion via buildings or programmes.  Comments revealed that staff would like to see the return of the Staff Club as a space intended only for staff and postgraduate researchers — a space where staff could meet with colleagues and guests and relax, free from the hustle and bustle of the term-time environment.  When asked about this, a straw poll of our extremely well-attended Annual General Meeting last week produced a unanimous vote in favour of reinstating the Staff Club.

Therefore, we ask that you take this idea forward to the University Executive Group on behalf of academic staff at the University.  Our investigations have proved that staff overwhelmingly support the return of the Staff Club, and we believe that doing so would make the working environment here less stressful, more collegial, and more appealing for academic visitors.

 Best regards

 Eric Silverman, Southampton UCU President

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